What happens when you put the Britain’s most successful designer and Vogue’s quirkiest contributing editor on the same stage? Magic – also known as Paul Smith and Alexa Chung. Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman put it best by described Paul Smith as “the country’s most successful” and celebrated designer and figure in British fashion. Smith is renowned for his classic tailoring techniques and trademark quirks. Alexa Chung presenter, model and Vogue contributing editor began her career in New York with MTV’s It’s On With Alexa Chung. Shulman described Chung as a talented “keen, crude fashion interviewer” who is the embodiment of British style.
Paul Smith began the talk by discussing the importance of inspiration, personality and corporate social responsibility. Smith highlighted the significance of finding inspiration in everyday life and really looking at what is going on around you. After his initial introduction, Smith and Chung quickly drenched the talk with their quirky personalities discussing everything from his start in fashion; he wanted to be a racing cyclist, but an accident forced him to re-evaluate; to his refusal to marry his wife (something that broke down in 2000, 6 hours after he was knighted as Sir, Paul tied the nod) and his thoughts on the Queens style:
“She […] dresses really well. She wears such lovely cheerful colours and if you look at the quality of her clothes – wow. Her designer really understands how to put the suppression at her waist, the proportions are cut just right”
Both, Smith and Chung, managed to find the right blend of seriousness and fun. While Smith used the interview as a therapeutic event, Chung employed her charm and wittiness to challenge Smith in serious issues. Chung was able to combine the serious topics such as corporate social responsibility and a small discussion on the “bad behaviour in the industry” with entertaining the audience by asking Smith if he sometimes just wanted to let loose and kick puppies, or why he was stuck in the Stone Age (Smiths refusal to use email or a computer). It was interesting to see two explosive personalities on one and the same stage and to experience an energetic and diverse talk that was everything but stale.
Take a look by Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman introduction:
Images curtsey of Vogue.com, and Christian S.